Christian Democrats and Feminist Party keep their leaders for another term

Two parties at opposite ends of the political spectrum have decided to keep the same leaders for another term in office.

Christian Democrat leader Sari Essayah speaks to party members at Oulu conference, August 24th 2019 / Credit: CD

Two Finnish political parties from opposite ends of the spectrum have had weekend votes to decide who should be the leader of their parties.

And both decided to keep the same politicians at the helm for another term.

The Christian Democrats re-elected Sari Essayah as party chair at their conference in Oulu. The MP announced earlier this week that she had undergone successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumour.

When Essayah announced her breast cancer diagnosis earlier in August, the former 10,000 metre World Champion speed walker had indicated she might stand down as party leader but received messages of encouragement from other party members.

In a speech to party members, Essayah called for a boost in Finland’s hydroelectric green energy production; called on the government to encourage more people to have children; and criticised continued “serious shortcomings” in care for elderly people due to a lack of nursing staff.

Essayah also used her speech to say that the state of freedom of expression in Finland is “worrying”.

Citing United Nations conventions on human rights, and said “it seems that our representative democracy and culture of social dialogue are in crisis”.

Her comments come as a former Christian Democrat leader and ex-interior minister Päivi Räsänen is the focus of a pre-trial investigation by police over comments she made about Pride Parade.

File picture of Feminist Party leader Katju Aro / Credit: Instagram

Feminist Party keeps the same leader 

Meanwhile the Feminist Party re-elected Katju Aro to the role of party chair at their weekend meeting.

Although the party failed to get into parliament at the April general election, despite an alliance with three other small parties, Aro told party members that they had been instrumental in a government elected with several feminist ministers.

She said that many other mainstream policies like anti-discrimination, changes in sexual violence laws, Finland’s lead in promoting global human rights and asylum reform will happen because the Feminist Party has pushed those issues.

“We have achieved a great deal in a shoret time, and it has also demanded a great deal. Now is the time to deepen, develop and share your work together” Helsinki City Counselor Aro told delegates.